Ganderbal: Shallabugh Bird Festival organized by the Department of Wildlife Protection, Jammu & Kashmir (Wetlands Division, Kashmir) and the District Administration Gandrebal in joint collaboration with SKUAST-Kashmir and Kashmir Birdwatch, commenced here on Monday.
As per the news agecy—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the two-day bird festival was inaugurated by Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal, Shyambir during an attractive function here at the Conference Hall, Mini Secretariat Ganderbal.
Shyambir while declaring the Shallabugh Fest-2023 open said this is one of its first kind events. He stressed that such events need to be taken along on a sustained basis.
While applauding the role of civil societies, local communities and the NGOs in the field of Wetland Conservation appealed to them to take an active part in the conservation and restoration process of the Shallabugh Wetland Reserve.
The DC expressed assured all help and support in showcasing the unique biodiversity of the wetland. He assured the participants that the best of the Wildlife Photographers during the fest period shall be felicitated by the district administration.
Rashid Yahya Naqash, Regional Wildlife Warden, Kashmir Region, said the aim to celebrate the Shallabugh Bird Festival is to raise awareness of bird and wetland conservation and also nurture an interest in young wildlife enthusiasts to learn and love migratory/resident birds and their habitat. He informed the gathering that the Shallabugh has been recently declared a Ramsar Site a wetland of international importance.
The wetland is home to a wide variety of birds, and the festival is an opportunity to recognize their significance and raise awareness about the importance of preserving their habitat, Naqash said, adding that the second day of the festival shall start with guided birding and a local meet of the communities shall be organised later.
Powerpoint presentations were given by Intesar Suhail, Wildlife Warden Shopian and the executive member of Kashmir Birdwatch, and Dr. Khursheed Ahmad, Head Department of Wildlife Science SKUAST-K, on the historical perspective of bird watching in the valley and the potential of bird tourism in Kashmir wetlands.
A large number of participants from Kashmir Birdwatch, students from Degree College Ganderbal, district officers of the District, and NGOs attended the inaugural function.
On the occasion, the DC also felicitated many wildlife photographers, NGOs and researchers. At the end of the programme Ifshan Dewan Wildlife Warden, Wetlands Division, Kashmir, Srinagar appealed to all the participants to come forward and join hands with the department for the protection and conservation of Shalbugh Wetland Conservation Reserve—(KNO)
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